Environment Forum

Why subsidize the surfeit of wind turbines?

March 29, 2010

WINDMILL FARM SUNRISE

With an oversupply of wind turbines, why are governments subsidizing new manufacturing plants?

Cap and trade not the solution, climate scientist says

December 15, 2009

Fighting climate change is a huge investment opportunity but not through emissions trading and investors should instead put their money into renewables which will power the economy in the future, says a leading environmental scientist and cap and trade expert.

Catching rays + cutting emissions

November 27, 2009

The phrase “catching a few rays” might conjure up images of lying on a sunny beach.

New ‘gold rush’ buzz hits Germany over Sahara solar

June 24, 2009

A “gold-rush-like” buzz has spread across Germany in the last week over tentative plans to invest the staggering sum of 400 billion euros to harvest solar power in the Sahara for energy users across Europe and northern Africa. Even though European and Mediterranean Union leaders have been exploring and studying for several years the idea of using concentrated solar power (CSP), the Desertec proposition suddenly captivated the public’s attention a week ago when German reinsurer Munich Re announced it had invited blue chip German companies such as Deutsche Bank, Siemens and several major utilities to a July 13 meeting on the project. The 20 companies aim to sign a memorandum of understanding to found the Desertec Industrial Initiative that could be supplying 15 percent of Europe’s electricity in the decades ahead.

Beyond hybrid green technology – tribrids, quadbrids next?

May 13, 2009

This portable electric recharging device could be a lifesaver if you break you leg on a windswept mountaintop in the middle of the night and find that your mobile phone battery is dead when you try to call for help.

In Antarctic base, solar energy and 10 cm commute

January 21, 2009

On a British Antarctic research station, engineer Andy Binney (pictured above at work) and plumber Adam Gerrard have what must be one of the shortest commutes in the world – 10 cm.

How much electricity do you use in a year?

January 16, 2009

It was a disarmingly simple question but, embarrassingly, I didn’t have a clue when first asked that 18 months ago. Even though I’d have to describe myself as a genuine tightwad when it comes to expenditures, I simply had no idea, strangely enough, about how much money my four-person household was spending on electricity — nor how much carbon dioxide was being produced.

Germany’s ‘Sun King’ Asbeck explains solar power for Vatican

December 11, 2008

Every once in a while you run into someone with so much energy that you find yourself wishing you could plug something into them to tap a bit of that excess power. On a dark, cloudy December afternoon, I spoke to Frank Asbeck, the chairman of SolarWorld and dubbed the “Sonnenkoenig” (Sun King) by a leading newspaper in his native Germany for turning an idea (mass use of photovoltaic) into a multi-billion euro corporation with 2,500 employees — in little over a decade.

German power boss goes renewables route…at home too

July 11, 2008

You know the wind is changing for renewables — so to speak — when the head of Europe’s biggest power producer becomes an advocate — and then even decides to reduce his own personal reliance on fossil fuels by powering and heating his new house with photovoltaic and geothermal energies.
Eon’s Wulf Bernotat

Bush’s climate plan: good sense, “Neanderthal”, or both?

April 18, 2008

A member of Germany’s Alternative Party dressed as a Neanderthal man from 50,000 years ago at an anti-nuclear demonstration in 1996A plan by President George W. Bush to set a distant 2025 ceiling for rising U.S. greenhouse gases has triggered criticisms by Germany that he is coming up with a “Neanderthal” solution to the problem – too little too late.